Press Release
June 1, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara has echoed the call of the World Bank that providing more high-paying jobs is crucial in reducing poverty faster.

In its recent report on the poverty assessment of the Philippines, the World Bank said that although the country's economy continues to grow, poverty remains high and the pace of poverty reduction has been slow.

Its latest data showed that in 2015, some 22 million Filipinos, or more than one-fifth of the population, still live below the national poverty line.

"Making the country's economic growth inclusive--which means ensuring that it improves the lives of poor Filipinos--has been quite a challenge. The country's economic gains must lead to the creation of more high-paying jobs. Trabaho pa rin talaga ang susi laban sa kahirapan. Kapag may sapat na kita, permanente at disenteng trabaho, siguradong aangat ang buhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino," said Angara, vice chairman of the labor committee.

The senator has lauded the Duterte administration's initiatives in providing job opportunities for Filipinos.

He cited the latest labor force survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority which showed a decrease in the unemployment rate from 6.6% last year to 5.3% this year.

The quality of jobs, however, deteriorated as the underemployment rate--or the proportion of those already working but still looking for more work or longer working hours--increased from 16.3% to 18%.

Angara, who sponsored Republic Act 10691 or the law strengthening the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), stressed that PESO should be at the forefront in addressing jobs-skills mismatch and in ensuring that Filipinos have well-paying and stable jobs.

He commended the PESO for its Job Expo 2018--considered one the biggest job fairs in Visayas--held today at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol, where over 33,000 job vacancies for local and overseas employment are up for grabs.

"PESO serves as a venue for Filipinos to explore employment opportunities, and we made sure under the law that every province, city and municipality in the country has its own PESO. Ito ay para masiguro na bawat Pilipino ay mabibigyan ng oportunidad na makahanap ng trabaho na tutulong sa kaniyang pamilya na umahon sa kahirapan," the lawmaker said.

"Kung may sapat lamang na kita, hindi na magugutom ang mga kababayan natin lalo na sa mga kanayunan. Tulungan natin silang magkaroon ng permanente at disenteng trabaho para mabigyan nila ng magandang kinabukasan ang kanilang mga anak," added Angara, who pushed for the law that raised the take-home pay and bonuses of workers.

Angara is also the sponsor of the law institutionalizing the JobStart Program in the country, which targets the unemployed youth, while his father, the late Senator Ed Angara, was the author of the law creating the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA.

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